While I certainly agree that many posters could be a good deal more respectful, SD has also done a poor job on these forums.
Listen, its the internet. There are going to be some people who are rude and obnoxious. Its a fact of life. Starting all these threads whining and whiners (ironic, no?) and having SD employees throw hissy fits about that kind of stuff is just amateur stuff. Frogboy himself was pretty much starting flamewars with people until he burned out.
There are right and wrong ways to moderate forums. SD is making consistently poor decisions in moderating this one IMO. For example, pacov started a thread asking for community questions. In this thread a few (meaning 2-3) people asked jackass questions (as had to be expected - as I said, its the internet). They were immediately shouted down by a good number of pro SD people. Yet the entire thread, which was mostly positive content, was locked down because of the inevitable few acting like jerks.
This is completley the wrong way to do things. If you must eliminate whiners, DELETE/EDIT their posts. Locking down whole threads that are mostly positive and contained a good deal of work from a nice, positive community member (pacov) is just horrible horrible horrible moderating.
Another problem is letting people vent. In a game which unfortunately still has some problems, people are going to get frustrated. Letting them vent is a good way to defuse things. A company just cutting people off when they point out legitimate problems is a terrible idea since it just makes things worse IMO. There needs to be a few threads allowed where people can do their complaining and moaning. Yeah, you cant let it take over the forums, but you also should give frustrated customers some room to vent their emotions. It really does help I think. You can move excessive threads to one or two giant whine threads if you want.
This way your whiners can whine and get it off their chests without polluting the whole forum. And they also wont get really mad because the perceive that SD is ignoring them.
You also have to differentiate between repeat complainers and first time complainers. Some people whine non stop and therefore need to be handled. But a lot of people just come on the forums, point out a legitimate issues that has been discussed to death (but dont realize it because they dont use the forums that much). Posts like that should be moved to some kind of master whine thread sure, but locking them down and generally acting like jerks to some people is terrible.
The example I'm thinking of here is when Phire came on (and he wasnt a big forum user), pointed out that DG wasnt working correctly on his machine (a common issue at the time), and Frogboy personally ripped him a new one for bringing up a known issue again. Come on, stop acting like amateurs. He had hardly posted at all and was pointing out a legitimate issue. He wasnt aware of the fact that it had been discussed to death, and so you have to rip him a new one? Stuff like that is really bad.
Really SD/Frogboy's own behavior has lead to a small part of the acrimony that is sometimes on these boards. Frankly ruining a perfectly good thread (like pacov's community input thread) due to the amateur (IMO) modding of a few bad apples makes me upset and lose faith in SD, and I'm sure that it upsets others too.
Given the amount of bugs and problems in DG still (this isnt meant as a dig - I'm just pointing out the fact that there are a lot more bugs still in the game than I think most people still expected and I bet that even SD/GPG expected fewer bugs at this point in the game's lifespan) I think that the community is pretty saintly. I've been in games like this before, and the complaining and whining was MUCH MUCH MUCH worse. If anybody thinks that DG's community is tainted or excessively mean, well, I can only think that they have played extremely few multiplayer games because this community is EXTREMELY mild.